More than anything else, the New York Yankees are in dire need of substantial outfield support. The anticipated return of Harrison Bader, currently on a rehab assignment, might provide the boost they require. Bader is expected to rejoin the team in their upcoming Tuesday contest against the Seattle Mariners.
Doubleheader Against the Red Sox: Navigating Without Aaron Judge
The Yankees are gearing up to face the Red Sox in a doubleheader following a rainout on Saturday. With Clarke Schmidt and Luis Severino poised to take the mound, the team is preparing to meet this challenge head-on.
They’ll enjoy a break on Monday, giving them an opportunity to regroup and hopefully start stringing together a few victories, a feat that’s been increasingly difficult without Aaron Judge.
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Bader’s Return: Regaining Confidence Post-Injury
Bader’s return, initially scheduled for Friday, was postponed as the Yankees sought to give him ample time to rebuild his confidence following a hamstring injury. As manager Boone explained, “The other day went fine. I think just in Harrison’s mind, and we agree wholeheartedly, [he wanted] to get another game or two in.”
“Having that feeling, especially for a guy like him who relies on his legs so much, to be able to go make that diving play in the gap at full speed or score from second with the game on the line with a base hit to left.”
The CF, who relies heavily on his athleticism, left the team with a .267 batting average, a .295 OBP, six homers, and 19 RBIs along with six stolen bases to his credit. Bader’s 13.7% strikeout rate, a career low, and a 118 wRC+ signal one of his most productive offensive seasons, despite the limited 26-game sample size. Defensively, he has continued to electrify, on pace to set new career milestones in defensive runs saved and outs above average.
Harrison Bader as a Spark Plug: Boosting Yankees’ Confidence
Bader unquestionably serves as a spark plug for the Yankees, his return is anticipated to provide a daily confidence boost to the team. The priority, however, remains ensuring that he is not at risk of exacerbating his injury. Boone added, “Yeah. I think it’s really, in his case, ‘I need to be 100 percent out here patrolling center field and being able to really step on it in crisis with everything on the line.’ Just getting over that last hump.”
“So it’s probably more defense, where you’re really letting it rip. Going into the alley, laying out, up against the fence, at top speed. And scoring first to home. Having that in his mind, that confidence where he’s not out there thinking about it.”
Navigating Current Outfield Challenges: The Need for Starters
The Yankees, currently relying heavily on reserve outfielders, desperately need their starting players back on the field. The ongoing search for a steady left fielder, coupled with the loss of their center and right fielders, has dealt a significant blow to the team’s offensive prowess.
Their recent 15-5 loss to the Boston Red Sox, currently the last-place team in the AL East, highlighted these vulnerabilities. Despite this, the Yankees are no doubt capable of winning games and scoring runs aplenty. What they need now is to regain confidence in their abilities.